The Nubuke Foundation Centre for Clay and Textiles has organised a five-day market access and exhibition for textile products (smocks), as part of activities of the foundation to mark the celebration of Dumba Festival.
The market exhibition, dubbed: “Woori Market”, (Weaving Market), showed the display of traditional fabrics (smock materials) and other items for sight attraction.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the festival grounds in Wa, Mr. Emmanuel W. Wullingdool, the Programmes Manager of the Foundation Centre for Clay and Textiles, noted that Woori Market was to create an avenue for craftswomen to sell their fabrics and smocks products.
He said the cultural and creative arts industries were among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy in the world and had become essential for inclusive economic growth, reducing inequalities, and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
He explained that the three-year project was made possible with financial support of the Arts for West Africa (AWA): Africa Caribbean Pacific countries (ACP) – European Union (EU) (AWA: ACP-EU) Culture programme to, among other things, provide market for women weavers in Wa, Nandom and Nadowli.
Mr. Wullingdool said the foundation, through the programme was also promoting tourism in the Wa and Nandom Municipalities and Nadowli-Kaleo district with the profiling of tourist attractions.
“According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the cultural and creative industries are among the fastest-growing sectors in the world.
“With an estimated global worth of US$4.3 trillion per year, the culture sector now accounts for 6.1 per cent of the global economy,” he indicated.
The Programmes Manager said the Foundation currently worked with over 400 weavers and had carried out a series of activities including engaging with the community members in the project towns.
He said in addition to creating market access for the weavers, the Foundation was to develop an ‘Art town’ concept in Ghana with pillars based on weaving, which was the creative production of the towns.
“The ‘Art town’ concept also lends itself to explorations of the effects of weaving on other economic activities such as tourism, capacity development, and research applications,” he intimated.
Mr. Wullingdool explained that data from the 2010 Ghana Population and Housing Census indicated that 10 per cent of people employed (15 years above) in the Upper West Region were involved in the craft and related trade industries.
He added that almost one-fifth of the working population in Wa was in the creative art industry with women (14.7%) occupying a greater proportion of the actors in that industry than men (5.6%).
Mr. Wullingdool said the Woori Market was the maiden edition and would be made a quarterly tradition to be replicated every year to support attempts at creating market access for the weavers in Wa and beyond.